CSU-LSAMP at Cal Poly

Louis Stokes Alliance for Minority Participation in STEM

California Forum For Diversity In Graduate Education

Saturday | November 5th, 2016 | Loyola Marymount University

The Forum is an all-day event designed to acquaint students from underrepresented groups with the academic and career opportunities associated with advanced study in a wide range of disciplines.  


Registration for the Southern California Graduate Forum at Loyola Marymount University will open on Monday, September 26thThe registration deadline is Friday, October 21st or until slots fill up, whichever is first. Register early! 

This event is free for LSAMP students and many other students on campus. Lunch and transportation included.*

To register, please visit the California Forum for Diversity In Graduate Education website. If you are unsure of the registration code, please contact LSAMP, check your email or contact Jeffery Alexander.

Workshops & Panels

In addition to the Graduate Recruitment Fair featuring 150+ recruiters from across the nation and free access to the Princeton Review's online GRE prep course, the following workshops and discipline-based panels will also be available. 


Demystifying the Graduate Record Exam (GRE)

This workshop will provide students with a strategic framework for GRE test preparation. The presenter will discuss how the GRE is used by admissions committees and talk about what the GRE scores mean and don't mean. Most of the session will focus on how to put together an effective plan to prepare for the GRE, how to manage test-related anxiety and thus promote your strongest performance, and how and when to use the strategies and techniques from coaching companies like the Princeton Review.

How to Pay for Grad School: Before, During, & After

Today's graduate student must consider a portfolio of diversified funding options - scholarships, grants, assistantships, fellowships (especially extramural funds, unsubsidized loans, veteran's benefits, departmental funding (Graduate Student Researcher, Graduate Student Instructor, etc.) and loan forgiveness programs. Securing the funds necessary to attend graduate school requires planning, both in advance and ongoing. These financial decisions are integral to their graduate student experience and will have a long-lasting impact on their lives. This presentation explores the breadth of funding options and highlights financial literacy strategies. Students need to know that they can pay for their graduate studies without risking their financial security in the future.

How to Prepare for the GRE

This seminar will introduce students to the Princeton Review's approaches, techniques, and strategies for dealing with the GRE verbal, quantitative, and analytical writing sections. An overview of the GRE will be provided, and then a few specific techniques for tackling GRE questions will be presented.

How to Select, Apply to, and Prepare for Graduate School

This workshop will discuss the merits of graduate schools, the nuts and bolts of applying, and the things you need to know to submit a strong application.

How to Write a Winning Statement of Purpose (SOP)

The objectives of this workshop are to explain the role of the SOP in the graduate school application process, to outline basic components and timelines, and to learn strategies for developing an outstanding SOP.

Identifying Pathways for AB 540 and Undocumented Students in Graduate School

This workshop will discuss the extra steps necessary for AB 540 students to successfully enroll and succeed in graduate school. Topics will include creative solutions to systemic roadblocks, strategies to obtaining funding, and how the California Dream Act and the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals affects graduate school opportunities.

Keys to Success and Survival in Graduate School

This panel permits students to hear directly from current graduate students. Topics to be covered will include cultivating academic and personal mentors, inside tips for passing qualifying exams and successful time management, and coping with isolation and finding support groups. The graduate students will discuss problems they have encountered and describe the solutions they have discovered.

Managing Health, Wellness, and Disability in Graduate School

Managing multiple and competing responsibilities is a priority for graduate students. Given personal, professional and academic responsibilities it can be a challenge to develop a healthy balance. This workshop will highlight campus resources and strategies that can foster a healthy graduate experience. Future graduate students will learn to focus on the importance of managing personal and academic life, maintaining an emotional and physical balance, and responding to known or unanticipated disabilities. The presentation will also explore the question of how to address disability as a point of diversity both in the graduate statement of purpose and throughtout the time in a graduate program.

Successful Strategies for Acquiring Strong Letters of Recommendation (LOR)

This workshop will provide an overview on how to secure a strong LOR for one's graduate school application. Topics include: who to ask, different way to approach a Professor, timeline planning, do's and don'ts, letter writing services, how to showcase your talents, faculty insight, avoiding pitfalls, and LOR examples.

The Relation of the Master's to the Ph.D.

Students often pose these questions: What is the difference between a master's program and a Ph.D. program? Should I get a master's degree first or go straight into a Ph.D. program? This workshop demystifies the role of the master's degree, both as a stand-alone and as a potential stepping stone to the doctorate. Among the questions answered: What careers can I pursue with a master's degree? Should I earn a master's degree first? Will a Ph.D. program give me credit for my master's work? How much time will it take to earn a master's degree? What is involved in earning a master's in terms of coursework and thesis?

Undergraduate Research Opportunities

Undergraduate research experiences can strengthen graduate school admissions and successful matriculation into a doctoral program. Lean the steps necessary to identify and apply to a variety of research programs. Topics includes: application elements and strategies, program components, typical timelines, and resources. Benefits of participating in such programs will also be highlighted.


Discipline-Based Panels

Different disciplines have different norms and ways of operating. These 8 workshop panels are intended to provide students with an understanding of various aspects of graduate study within a given discipline group. For each discipline group, panelists offer insights on such topics as how to prepare strategically for admission into a graduate program within the discipline group, what graduate programs typically entail (content, workload, process, time to degree), and career options (including a snapshot of the life of a faculty member or position). Panelists, usually two to four per panel, are asked to direct their remarks toward their specific disciplines without focusing too much on their own departments. Please note: the specific subfields represented on this panel will vary from year to year depending on the individuals participating on the panel.

Arts & Humanities

The arts and humanities explore the human experience across an exceptionally broad range of subjects that raise fundamental questions about life through the arts, history, and literature. By studying world languages and cultures students expand their understandings of others and prepare themselves for an increasingly multicultural world. Study of the arts assists students in envisioning creative and fresh perspectives about the world around them. Disciplines in the arts and humanities include, cultural studies, U.S. and global cultures and literatures, domestic and world history, art history, theater, performance studies, and music. Pursuing graduate study in the arts and humanities prepares students for dynamic careers as writers and researchers, artists and educators, consultants, non-profit coordinators, administrators and directors of university cultural centers, and as leaders and innovators within all manner of businesses and industries.

Behavioral Sciences

Behavioral sciences have been defined as the systematic analysis and investigation of human and animal behavior. This panel may include faculty members from various sub-disciplines of psychology, including experimental, social, developmental, cognitive, clinical, and counseling psychology.


The study of Education covers a variety of topics from how children, youth and adults learn, inside and outside classrooms; to how schools, communities, and societies advance the educational and life chances of those they educate. It may involve cognition and development, language and literacy, society and culture, policy, economics, leadership, systems, organization, measurement, and/or assessment.

Engineering & Computer Sciences

An engineer/computer scientist is concerned with applying scientific knowledge, computational systems, physics, mathematics, and ingenuity to develop solutions for technical, societal, and commercial problems. Engineers and computer scientists design materials, structures, software, hardware, and systems while considering the limitations imposed by practicality, regulation, safety, and cost.

Health & Human Services

This panel will be comprised of specialized academic disciplines that study various aspects of human health and human services that promote the well-being of individuals, groups, and communities. This panel may include faculty members from disciplines such as public health, nursing, social work, communicative disorders and deaf studies, kinesiology, and physical therapy.

Life Sciences

The Life Sciences refers to the scientific disciplines that focus on the study of living organisms such as microorganisms, plants, and animals. Doctoral programs in the life sciences examine the topics of ecology, botany, zoology, microbiology, physiology, biochemistry, genetics, and molecular biology.

Physical Sciences & Mathematics

Physical science studies the nature and properties of nonliving matter and engergy with some overlap of natural sciences (ex: organic chemistry). Mathematics is defined as the science of numbers; operations, interrelations, combinations, generalizations, data analysis, abstractions, space configurations, measurements, etc. This panel may include faculty members from disciplines such as mathematics, statistics, chemistry, physics, planetary sciences (astronomy, astrophysics, etc.), and earth sciences.

Social Sciences

Social sciences have been defined as the systematic study of the processes of a social system and concern with society and the relationships among individuals within a society. This panel may include faculty members from the academic disciplines of sociology, economics, anthropology, political science, gender, cultural and ethnic studies, etc.

Additional Information

For information regarding eligibility or additional questions please contact Student Support Services Director, Jeffrey Alexander via phone 805-756-5114 or email.

Related Content

*To secure a spot, a $20 refundable security deposit via cash or check will be required. This deposit will be returned on the day of departure for the Forum


CSU-LSAMP at Cal Poly is supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. HRD-1826490 and the CSU Chancellor's Office, and coordinated by the Center for Engineering, Science, and Mathematics Education (CESAME) at Cal Poly, SLO. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in these materials are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.

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